The Log Book: December 2015-January 2016

orange_pomanders

Happy New Year!  2015 went so quickly, but I’m on the fence as to whether I miss it or not.  It had a lot of good points, like our brothers getting married, and our trip to California.  But mostly when I think of 2015, I just feel really tired.

Latest Projects:
-The big project for December was (no surprise here) getting ready for Christmas.
-I read a blog post last Christmas in which the author made orange pomanders, and thought, “I need to do that next year.”  I highly recommend making them–my hands smelled wonderfully of citrus and cloves after handling them.
-My big project is to renew last year’s New Year’s resolution to get organized.  We are off to a better start this year.

What’s cooking?
Cream of broccoli soup. 
This is a staple for Christmas dinner for Shaun’s family.
This year, we actually planned and executed a real feast for Santa Lucia.  My brother and his wife came over to celebrate with us.  Our Swedish-inspired (because we are not so sure about pickled fish) menu:
-Swedish meatballs and pasta
-Smoked salmon (in honor of St. Herman of Alaska, who is also celebrated on Dec. 13)
-Fingerling potatoes with dill
-Bread with cream cheese (for the salmon)
-Linden berry jam
-Baby dill pickles
We basically ate off the leftovers until we went on vacation.  Awesome.

Reading:
-Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon, which reminded me pleasantly of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett.
-Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman
-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, which has given my resolution to “get organized” some much-needed direction.
The Canada Geese Quilt by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

Other happenings:
-We celebrated St. Nicholas Day and Santa Lucia.  Each year I fall more and more in love with these holidays.  It’s fun to have something to celebrate leading up to Christmas, that’s not Christmas.
-We made a grand and very nearly foolhardy trip to visit THREE states between Christmas and New Year’s: Massachusetts, Maine, and Ohio.  I did a lot of praying and checking the weather reports in December.
-As you can see from my reading list, I have finally jumped on the “Kondo-ing” bandwagon.  There’s been a lot said about her books and method, but overall I am finding them helpful.  The true test, I suppose, is the fate of the all the “Kondo-ed” spaces in the long-term–can we actually stay tidy, once the excitement wears off?  Only time will tell.  On the other hand, I have only just finished clothes (and some other paraphernalia along the way), and have already donated or trashed four bags of stuff.  I actually like looking in my closet now.